Friday, June 27, 2008

Being an Artist

There are days, even months, when the desire to create art seems to have evaporated. If this lack of motivation or absense of the Muse occurs at a time when I am working on artwork for someone else, it is like having to go to a job you hate. I am currently in such a fugue. During this time of unemployment, when I certainly have the time to make art, I just can't seem to get it done. (Of course, I am preoccupied with finding a job). When I think back to the times when I have been most prolific, I find those were times when I was most busy with a job, family, social life, etc. I have noticed, also, that when I am absolutely unable to make art due to other obligations, that is when I really WANT to make art.

I am aware of the tension which exists when making art. It is a combination of excitement in getting started on a painting (combined with the desire to finish it and move on to something else), and the wish to be doing something else entirely. Frequently, being an artist is a bit of a handicap, a curse if you will, because others feel it is a god-given talent which can be called up on a moment's notice. Others think it is easy for an artist to just whip out a masterpiece any time he/she wants to. Not so. Making art is the most difficult undertaking of my life, one which calls to me on one hand, and which I reject on the other. Sometimes I deliberately postpone working on art in favor of doing something of no consequence or importance. Almost as if I am avoiding doing that which ultimately brings me joy when a piece of art is finished and I perceive it to be decent, if not good.

I also know that when I was making art every day, it became a habit, like eating. Working at a fulltime job makes it difficult to be prolific, though. It is necessary to make art every day in order to become good at it, just like practicing a musical instrument.

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